Unemployed after graduation: who is paying my rent now?

Unemployed after graduation? After years of hard work for exams and the Attending numerous lectures and seminars, you should think that you are well trained and find a job directly. First of all, the advice: don’t be afraid – you are not alone! The thoughts come and go. It is important to keep a clear head and not to lie on the lazy skin. From nothing, comes nothing. Advice from the Federal Employment Agency makes sense for anyone who does not immediately have a job. There you will find help directly at the source. The costs for home, car and everyday life must still be covered. BAföG as financial support is only available for the time during your studies. So what now?

How do I finance my life after graduation?

You basically have 4 options now:

  • Unemployment benefit (ALG1)
  • Hartz IV (ALG2)
  • housing benefit
  • children’s allowance

These options can occur in different combinations depending on your life situation. We will now go through step by step what applies to you and what you have to do:

Unemployed after graduation: what am I entitled to??

Entitlement to unemployment benefit I

Unemployment benefit (ALG I) is only valid if you have worked under social security for at least one year in the past three years, i.e. part-time or full-time. Self-employment, mini-jobs and student jobs don’t count because you don’t pay unemployment insurance. Most graduates are therefore not entitled to ALG1.

The amount of unemployment benefit 1 depends on your own last income. If you are entitled to ALG1, you can have the estimated amount calculated here.

Entitlement to housing benefit

Housing allowance is a rent allowance. The goal is to keep you out of Hartz 4. Basically, it can be applied for by anyone who manages to scrape together at least 80% of the Hartz 4 sentence from other sources. However, special rules apply to student housing benefits. Housing allowance is always granted for the entire household. The challenge for you as a graduate is therefore, together not to have too much and not too little income with the members of your household.

Housing benefit can be easily combined with ALG1. A combination with BAföG is possible under certain conditions. Household members who receive ALG2 are excluded from the housing allowance calculation.

Entitlement to child supplement

Anyone who receives child benefit for their own or adopted child can receive a supplement of up to € 160 per month and child. As with housing benefit, there are certain upper and lower income limits for this.

The minimum income for single parents is currently € 600 and for couples € 900 gross. This includes all of your earnings except child benefit.

Unemployment benefit 1, housing benefit and child benefit can be combined. All three services have priority over Hartz 4.

Entitlement to unemployment benefit II (ALG2 or HARTZ IV)

Only if you are not entitled to ALG 1, housing allowance and family allowance or are you still covered by the Hartz 4 standard rate despite these benefits and possibly your job? Then ALG 2 will catch you.

As with housing benefit and child allowance, the total household income counts when calculating your Hartz4 entitlement. So whether you get money or not depends on your roommates, provided that you are not just a purpose-sharing flat.

The office assumes that you will need the following sums to live; if you do not reach them yourself or collectively, the job center will pay the difference.

Rulesets Hartz IV

Add to that your actual one Gross monthly rent Proportionate for all household members entitled to ALG2, minus any kind of income from other sources and your assets if it exceeds the allowances allowed for you.

If you live alone, have no income and, for example, pay € 500 rent, your need is € 904.

If you live with your partner (married or not don’t care) your needs would be € 1,228 with the rent remaining the same.

If you have a baby, your need increases to 1465 €. Assuming you live in the same small apartment all the time. Moving to a larger, more appropriate apartment naturally increases your needs.

Which financing strategy is the best for me?

It’s no shame to be unemployed after your studies. As you can see, many roads lead to Rome. If you can’t see the forest for the trees now, it’s not your fault. The topic is just so complex. Much interlocks and is mutually dependent. I invested a lot of time and nerves to get behind it.

When it comes to choosing a strategy, you actually have no choice. The services are structured hierarchically. It’s best to rattle one by one in the order they are listed in this article.

Unfortunately, each of these services is responsible for a different office, which can mean a lot of racing and endless advice for you. I myself just had serious 11 different conversations with all possible employees in the job center and employment office. Added to this are days of internet research, tears, sweat and tantrums to finally find the right solution for the transition between studying and Job for to find me and my little family.

Now that I’ve gone through this whole paper war, I want to save you my fate. To make this possible, I am currently working on an application tool with which you can check your entitlement to benefits for the time during and after your studies with just a few clicks and, if necessary, print out all the necessary applications immediately. All in one place without racing.


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Christina Cherry
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